Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Breaking down the structures


Hierarchy may be best left to the animal kingdom


Today at the first ever #WellyEd Learning Conversations we explored questions around Modern Learning Practice (MLP) in small groups.  My group looked a models of practice and then this led to unpacking how "institutional structures" (my words) have been carried over into MLE's but aren't very MLP... (oh the acronyms!).

I bought this up with my group because what I have seen of MLP so far is that there is still hierarchical models of leadership being used - so basically a syndicate exists but with the walls broken down.  I have a thing where I don't like groups of 3 teachers and one person is the leader because I personally feel that then one person holds all the power and can change the dynamic of the group.  I had one person agree with me and also one person who has been working in a 3 very successfully - however on closer inspection this particular group of 3 worked well because there was no leader!

Distributed leadership is a model I really like because it encourages collaboration and acknowledges different people's strengths. There is no power play, no pedestal.  Just mutual respect.

Diana Grace, alerted me to this article about "Wireachy".  The main line that struck me being:

to move from command and control to champion and channel

this incubation of ideas and innovation, the connectivity of those ideas to others.  A culture of sharing. Interconnectivity. Structures brought down. Power balanced.

So this for me is what Modern Learning Practice Leadership looks like (MLPL) (LOL!!) or perhaps it is just what good teaching looks like and leadership is part of teaching.

I am interested to see as more schools move towards team-teaching models if they also reflect on the pre-existing hierarchical models too... We need to reflect on who holds the power in our schools - just like how we reflect on who holds the power within our classrooms. Our classrooms may be moving towards "modern" but are our structures?